HTML and CSS Reference
Exploring the History of the World Wide Web
Before you start creating a Web page for Dave, it will be helpful to fi rst look at the his-
tory of the Web and the development of HTML. You'll start by reviewing networks and
learn how they led to the creation of the World Wide Web.
A network is a structure that allows devices known as nodes or hosts to be linked
together to share information and services. Hosts can include devices such as comput-
ers, printers, and scanners because they are all capable of sending and receiving data
electronically over a network.
A host that provides information or a service is called a server . For example, a print
server is a network host that provides printing services to the network; a fi le server is
a host that provides storage space for saving and retrieving fi les. A computer or other
device that receives a service is called a client . Networks can follow several different
designs based on the relationship between the servers and the clients. One of the most
commonly used designs is the client-server network in which several clients access
information provided by one or more servers. You might be using such a network to
access your data fi les for this tutorial.
Networks can also be classifi ed based on the range they cover. A network confi ned to
a small geographic area, such as within a building or department, is referred to as a local
area network or LAN . A network that covers a wider area, such as several buildings or
cities, is called a wide area network or WAN . Wide area networks typically consist of
two or more interconnected local area networks.
The largest WAN in existence is the Internet , which incorporates an almost uncount-
able number of networks and hosts involving computers, mobile phones, PDAs, MP3
players, gaming systems, and television stations. Like many business owners, Dave uses
the Internet to advertise his business to potential customers.
Locating Information on a Network
One of the biggest obstacles to effectively using the Internet is the network's sheer scope
and size. Most of the early Internet tools required users to master a bewildering array of
terms, acronyms, and commands. Because network users had to be well versed in com-
puters and network technology, Internet use was limited to universities and the govern-
ment. To make the Internet accessible to the general public, it needed to be easier to use.
The solution turned out to be the World Wide Web.
The foundations for the World Wide Web , or the Web for short, were laid in 1989 by
Timothy Berners-Lee and other researchers at the CERN nuclear research facility near
Geneva, Switzerland. They needed an information system that would make it easy for
their researchers to locate and share data on the CERN network with minimal training
and support. To meet this need, they developed a system of hypertext documents that
enabled users to easily navigate from one topic to another. Hypertext is a method of
organization in which data sources are interconnected through a series of links or hyper-
links that users can activate to jump from one piece of information to another. Hypertext
is ideally suited for the Internet because end users do not need to know where a particu-
lar document, information source, or service is located—they need to know only how to
activate the link. The fact that the Internet and the World Wide Web are synonymous in
many users' minds is a testament to the success of the hypertext approach.